Lacson backs prohibition on candidate substitution due to withdrawal
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential aspirant Senator Panfilo Lacson backed the proposed prohibition of candidate substitution unless it is due to very exceptional cases, such as death.
“Yes, I fully agree,” Lacson said during Thursday’s Pandesal Forum when asked if he would support an amendment to the Omnibus Election Code that would disallow substitution of a candidate who withdraws.
“Kasi minsan sinasadya na talaga na mag-file na wala namang naman talagang intensyon na tuluyang mangampanya o kaya tuluyang lumaban. Parang magpa-file pero nasa isipan naman nila talagang eventually they would withdraw and give way to other candidates,” he added.
(Because there are cases where a candidate files but has no real intention to run, to campaign and to push through. They filed, knowing that they would eventually withdraw to give way to other candidates.)
“Yes, I fully support the amendment sa [in the] Omnibus Election Code na ‘pag nag-file ka [that if you filed], that’s it. Either withdraw or you push through, wala na dapat yung mga substitution [there should no longer be substitution],” he further said.
“In case of death or incapacity or the candidate, saka lang pwedeng mag-substitute [and then substitution can be allowed]. Pero [But] other than that, I don’t think it is fair and it is rational…na magpa-file [that you will file] with no intention at all to really go through with the campaign and the election proper,” he said.
Recently, Deputy Speaker and Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez filed a bill that would prohibit a political party from substituting any candidate, unless for the reason of death or disqualification.
The Omnibus Election Code currently allows the substitution of a candidate in case of death, disqualification or withdrawal of another aspirant, Rodriguez said in filing the bill.
A prominent case of candidate substitution was during the 2016 national elections when then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte replaced Martin Diño, who was the standard-bearer of the PDP-Laban party at the time.
Duterte said he would not run for president but later withdrew his candidacy for reelection as Davao City mayor and instead joined the presidential race as a last-minute substitute.
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